Well news has come to me recently that EMI are refusing to sell stock to independent record shops from now on (source http://tinyurl.com/l9m7ty).
I guess the music industry got tired of shooting itself in the foot with DRM and file sharing and decided to machine gun its whole leg off instead. Well done EMI. If the music industry is dying it’s due to frankly stupid decisions such as this.
Not to be a complete music snob but many DJs, vinyl enthusiasts and music lovers still used independent record shops. There are plenty of good reasons to keep using actual shops rather than say iTunes. You don’t for instance lose your whole damn record collection if your hard drive fails. The staff are knowledgeable, they know what you are looking for even if you don’t (seriously I’ve met record company staff who can identify songs from badly hummed samples and vague suggestions). You get a tactile product with album art and freebies (maybe a poster if you are lucky). They carry stock that you can’t get in HMV, artists back catalogues and honest-to-goodness vinyl. Independent record shops serve as a general hub for musicians, promotors and DJs, they usually have a notice board with upcoming gigs and highly optimistic job offers like “Talented Vocalist Seeks Entire Band!” They are living breathing spaces in a way that the likes Last.fm and iTunes are not and could never be.
If it wasn’t for record shops you wouldn’t get fantastic scenes like this: